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Rachel MacDonald's blog

Using Hemp as an Alternative Fuel

Although the majority of eco-friendly car headlines relate to the advances in hybrid and electric battery technology, there are many other alternatives to petrol out there. Alternative biofuels can be created out of cooking oil, algae, and liquefied petroleum to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency. Another type of plant that can be used to fuel cars is hemp. This humble plant can be used to create paper, clothing, and food, but it's often overlooked as an alternative fuel source. Yet there are signs that hemp is on the rise as a potential alternative fuel. Canada has given the go-ahead to fund research into hemp oil, while university studies have shown that it could be a viable alternative to petrol.

hemp as fuel 

Hemp's Eco-Friendly Qualities

Some of the concerns that have been put forth related to biodiesel or biofuel include the fact that crops such as palm and corn oil can put strain on the environment, somewhat defeating the purpose. Unlike olives, peanuts, or rapeseed, hemp doesn't need to use up high-quality land that could be used for food instead. Hemp can grow without clearing land, and is able to flourish in a variety of climates. It's a hardy plant that leaves the ground in a better condition than when it was planted, which makes it unique among biofuel sources. Hemp can be grown without a great deal of water, fertilizer, or other input, and the plant is used in many parts of Europe and Asia for the fibrous stalks. Yet the oily seeds are often discarded as a waste by-product. These could instead be used for fuel, while still producing fibres used in other products.... read more

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